Written by / 3/01/2013 / No comments / , , , , ,

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER

year: 2013 cast: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Eleanor Tomlinson rating: **
During the three acts of JACK THE GIANT SLAYER, a trio of movies are paid homage to, deliberately or not: THE PRINCESS BRIDE starts things off as we have a lovely young princess forced to (possibly) marry a man she doesn’t love. He’s a real jerk and meanwhile, a poor young man (WARM BODIES star Nicholas Hoult) is much better suited for her, although this would be a rather unlikely match.

The princess, after running away from the castle, winds up in the humble young man’s house that eventually goes up into the skies atop a giant tree/beanstalk… Leading to STAR WARS where our farm boy underdog (raised by his grumpy uncle), aided by a slightly older, more experienced fellow, must rescue the princess from, in this case, a band of killer cannibalistic giants.

Then we have the new CLASH OF THE TITANS where a horde of warriors, some big, others small, wage bloody hell in a noisy, prolonged battle.

The first part is the best, or at least the most intriguing. Director Bryan Singer shows both Princess Isabelle and young Jack, creatively handing off segments of their contrary lives since both are fate-connected to that giant beanstalk, which grows after Jack receives seeds from a monk and accidently drops one beneath the floorboards of his house.

The second part builds decently enough after Jack joins Ewan McGregor’s intrepid warrior Elmont, surviving both natural catastrophe i.e. the threat of falling down and/or tricks of the cunning human antagonist Roderick, the princess's fiance played by Stanley Tucci, doing his best Alan Rickman imitation and, later on, garnering power to control the giants.

It’s once we reach the treetop, and sheep-eating giants either capture the humans or bite their puny heads off, that the plot loses all point or purpose. Leading to a battle on the ground where the primary villain is a two-headed beastly giant. Thus a lot of computer animation ensues with too much action and zero character-development.

Basically, past the midway point, the characters we initially invested in spend so much energy fighting or running away from those grotesque and often flatulating beasts, there’s no time left for anything but survival: that alone can get downright tiresome.

Like THE PRINCESS BRIDE, this is a story being read to children, who, unlike that film, are only showed in the prologue and epilogue. Yet it’s hard to imagine them (or anyone) falling asleep to such gory mayhem. Sweet dreams, be gone!
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